A marketing course has become a popularity contest with a university in central China requiring students to add more than 1,000 contacts to their WeChat accounts to earn a pass, according to Chinese media reports.
Students enrolled in Henan University of Finance and Economics’ course on social media operations must add 1,001 new contacts to pass and 1,667 to get a distinction.
The course, run by the university’s school of communications, teaches students about marketing and promotion on social media, particularly WeChat, China’s biggest social media network with more than 1 billion users.
The app, operated by Chinese internet giant Tencent, is a conduit for games, shopping, news, payments and personal posts.
Many students complained about the requirement online, saying the number was too high and there was no way they could meet so many new people and add them to their WeChat accounts.
Responding to the complaints, the university said the requirement had an academic purpose and staff discussed the issue last week with students who had signed up for the course.